June 2004 marks the second full year of construction on the Apartheid Wall, which is ripping its way through Palestinian lands at an ever-increasing pace. Beginning in the North, the first phase of this colonial project stretched some 145km through the Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqilya districts, with devestating effect. 200,000 people living in the area were directly affected by the Wall, with 14,680 dunums of land razed for the Wall’s footprint, with an additional 121,455 dunums of land annexed, and some 102,000 trees uprooted. The first phase also saw massive demolitions; for example, over 200 shops in Nazlet Issa were destroyed in a single afternoon. Now, an 8 meter high concrete Wall runs through the land where the market once stood.
Palestinian infrastructure and resources have been seriously attacked during the construction of the Apartheid Wall. 36 water wells and over 200 cisterns have been destroyed, in addition to 35,000m of water pipes. The social and economic impact of the Wall on Palestinian communities has been tremendous. Combined with the already strict closures imposed by Occupation Forces, Palestinian livelihood is being crushed under the footprint of the Wall. Unemployment levels in some areas reaches more than 80%, with access to jobs west of the Green Line cut off and farmers unable to tend to their lands. Freedom of movement has been severely disrupted, be it for commerce, education, access to health care or for social and political organizing.
Today, in villages where the Wall was completed, farms, agricultural establishments, and houses on both sides of the Wall, are targeted with demolitions. While agricultural lands are still being confiscated and destroyed for new bypass roads or military bases, or any number of other reasons. Moreover, the second phase of the Wall will be more than 350 kms in length, including the so-called Jerusalem Envelope, which started last December in the west Ramallah area and continued throughout Jerusalem in the north west, in the south, north and east. Most recent work construction of the Wall started in Salfit. Hundreds of thousands of Dunums of these villages’ lands will be confiscated or isolated behind the Wall.
Still, Palestinian communities are steadfast in their resistance to the Apartheid Wall and are actively mobilizing against the colonial project, whether in communities where the Wall already stands, or in communities just now facing the Wall’s devastation, resistance is strong and determined. People are demonstrating on their lands and in the streets, demanding that the Wall be stopped and dismantled. In northwest Jerusalem and western Ramallah, where there have been 6 men martyred resisting the Wall, people are willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve their lands, their livelihoods and the future of Palestine.
The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign will continue to resist racist and colonial Zionism, demanding that construction of the Apartheid Wall be stopped immediately, that any existing structures be dismantled, that there be full compensation to all people affected by the Wall’s destruction, and further, that there be a comprehensive end to the illegal Occupation of Palestine. Resistance must and will continue. The Campaign calls on all solidarity groups, organizations and world governments to support Palestinian rights and resistance — call for the destruction of the Apartheid Wall and denounce the racist Israeli Occupation.